an open letter to my wife on calling

a few months ago, i was asked to speak to a group of mothers on calling. i’ve never thought about how to speak to moms on this topic, and i realized the person i should start with is my wife. so i wrote this letter to jen and read it aloud to introduce my talk. i’m sharing it here in hopes that it stirs up some helpful conversation where it’s desperately needed.

hey hun,

so i’m giving this talk to a group of moms on calling, as you know, and i’m realizing i have not actually given much thought to how i would explain calling to you—even though you’ve heard me speak on calling, you’ve read my writing on this topic. how I tend to think and talk and write about calling, I am realizing, has largely been for myself, not you.

i’m slowly realizing that so much of the way that i think, write, and talk about calling has more to do with me—my giftings, my passions, my hopes, my dreams—and less to do with you. in my most fearful moments, i worry that i’ve masqueraded my hopes, ambitions, and aspirations as God’s call—the ultimate trump card. i realize now, having been asked to speak to this group of moms, that the way i think about calling has not always served you well.

i’m sorry for that, hun.

i realize also that i’ve written and even taught others in a way that has, if not explicitly, at least implicitly suggested that God calls me more than God calls you—or at least that God’s call on my life is more important than on your life. for that, i’m deeply sorry, hun. if God calls either one of us to anything, God most certainly calls you just as much as me.

i’m sorry for not doing a better job of giving you time and space and voice to follow God’s Voice, even as i have been so caught up in the work of listening to God’s call on my life, and helping others do the same for their life. i’m sorry for living in such a way that has most likely led you to feel as though if God is calling out to you it’s somehow less important than God’s call on my life.

my heart aches to think that i have, unintentionally, given you a picture of a God who cares more about my life than yours.

i hope that this opportunity to speak on calling with other moms will challenge me–and not just this once, but continue to challenge me to think about how God is calling out uniquely to you, how i might give more space to encourage you to listen to this call, and then encourage you to live faithfully into that call.

thanks for believing in this crazy call on our lives all those years ago, hun. thanks for continuing to believe in me, even when i struggled to believe in myself. i could not do this without you even for a day.

yours for always,

ryan

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